8-10 December 
"The Body and Movement"

Please note that we have selected the artists for this year's Syllabus III programme.

Syllabus III artists Frederica Agbah, Chris Alton, Conor Baird, Ilker Cinarel, Phoebe Davies, Freya Dooley, Rose Gibbs, Jill McKnight, Ben Sanderson and Karis Upton are visiting Bristol for their third retreat, hosted by Spike Island.


Talk with Nav Haq via Skype Discussing ‘Rave and Its Influence on Art and Culture’ exhibition which engaged critically with the historical rave movement of 1980s and 1990s and contemporary art

Introductory session with Rory Pilgrim, followed by lunch

In the afternoon, Rory will lead a Movement Workshop

"A Political Body is a Sensitive Body", a screening and discussion led by Wysing's Assistant Curator, John Bloomfield

In the evening, we will visit FOLLOW THE STARS TO BRUNSWICK: MEMBERS SHOW Brunswick club BEEF (Bristol Experimental and Expanded Film)



Introductory presentation: Mapping out practices, mapping out bodies

‘Tongues Untied’ by Marlon T. Riggs, 1989 Screening of this seminal film followed by a discussion

ELEMENTS OF VOGUE. A CASE STUDY IN RADICAL PERFORMANCE. Conceived as a tool box, the presentation will unpack a series of crucial yet often overlooked notions such as ‘Realness’, ‘Camp’, ‘Gesture’, ‘Pose’, ‘Disidentification’ and ‘Signifying’

4.40pm – Echoes finale performance at Spike Island: Young In Hong - Free and open to the Public. Full details on Spike Island's website here.

This is followed by a Q&A with Young In Hong at 5:45pm

The evening will see a dinner at Spike Island with invited guests and contributions by the Syllabus III artists


A day at the Feminist Archive South, led by DM Withers. Withers will introduce the archive and the kinds of political bodies found there and use the text by Alexis Pauline Gumbs's 'Evidence' (from Octavia's Brood) to think about how one might play with temporal perspectives to read archives from a historical time that is radically different to our own, in terms of values, and social relations - the time after 'silence broke' (to use her imaginary).

The focus will be on three pieces of 'evidence' that relate to immigration activism, and the artists will be invited to recontextualise these sources as evidence from a time 'before silence broke'. Artists will be invited to explore what kinds of statements / performative responses could be made about the sources to mobilise them as political bodies (or to mobilise political bodies), and in so doing contest the normalisation of values that continue to be embedded in contemporary society. Furthermore, what imaginaries might the materials help us to reclaim / recuperate, for example, practices of resistance.

After lunch, Syllabus III artist Chris Alton will lead a mapping session

Reading List

Guattari, G. D. (1986). What Is a Minor Literature?

Gumbs, A. P. (2015). Evidence. In A. M. Imarisha, Octavia's Brood. AK Press and the Institute for Anarchist Studies.

Hebdige, D. (1983). Posing... Threats, Striking... Poses: Youth, Surveillance, and Display.


Nav Haq is Senior Curator at M HKA, Antwerpen. Haq has organsed numerous solo exhibitions with artists such as Hassan Khan, Cosima von Bonin, Imogen Stidworthy, Kerry James Marshall and Shilpa Gupta. Group exhibitions have included Superpower: Africa in Science Fiction (2012); Museum Show– a major historical survey of (semi-fictional) museums created by artists (2011); and Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie: Class Hegemony in Contemporary Art, co-curated with Tirdad Zolghadr (2006-09). In 2014 he co-curated the group exhibition Don't You Know Who I Am? Art After Identity Politics at MuHKA, and is preparing exhibitions of works by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Otobong Nkanga for autumn 2015. 

Rory Pilgrim (Bristol, 1988). Rory's work is based on emancipatory concerns, in which personal and political questions are brought together to explore questions of time and connections between activism, spirituality, music and community with others. Strongly influenced by the origins of activist, feminist and socially engaged art, Rory works with a wide range of media including live performance, film, text, workshops and musical composition. Rory obtained a BA from Chelsea College of Art, London and was a participant of the De Ateliers residency programme between 2008-2010 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Recent Solo Shows include Rowing, London (2017), Plymouth Art Centre (2017), Flat Time House, London (2016), Site Gallery, Sheffield (2016), Andriesse-Eyck Gallery, Amsterdam NL (2015) and sic! Raum für Kunst, Luzern CH (2014). Groups shows, performances and screenings include Block Universe, UK (2017) GAK, Bremen DE (2017), Guangzhou Triennial, CN (2015), Land Art Live, Almere NL (2015), MING Studios, Boise USA (2015), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht NL (2014) Kunst Werke, Berlin DE (2013) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012).

Sabel Gavaldon is a curator based in London. His last exhibitions took place: 1) in a derelict factory in the outskirts of Barcelona, while using fiction to place the viewer before the remains of a forgotten civilization; 2) in constant motion and just for one day, entertaining the possibility of artworks and audience never encountering one another; 3) as part of a curatorial laboratory in the Basque Country, with a focus on gardening as a model to experiment with collective forms of exhibition-making. In 2016, he was nominated for the ICI New York Independent Vision Curatorial Award. He is now working towards the exhibition "Elements of Vogue: A Case Study in Radical Performance", which opens in November 2017 at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, in Madrid.

Young In Hong is a visual artist, her artistic practice embraces a range of disciplines of textiles, drawing, installation, performance, art in public space and artist book making. Young In often conducts research-led practices, her research interests are undervalued cultural practices, politics of intuition, and the practice of ‘equality’. For her performance projects, Young In works in collaboration with art institutions, curators, performing artists and the ordinary public. Here, collective memory embedded in an unwritten history is a central theme, which often leads the artist to focus on historical archival images of specific events in South Korea. Young In’s practice has been introduced at Turner Contemporary, Margate (2017), Block Universe, London (2017), La Triennale di Milano (2016), Grand Palais, Paris (2016), Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Stockholm (2013/2016), ICA (2015), Gwangju Biennale (2014/2004), Delfina Foundation, London (2014), Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2013), Museum of Arts and Design, New York (2011).

DM Withers research addresses questions of cultural memory and transmission, technology and inscription, political economy and the digital. Feminist archives and debates about generational transmission have often been the focus of their research and are examined in their book Feminism, Digital Culture and the Politics of Transmission: Theory, Practice and Cultural Heritage which won the 2016 Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Book Prize. Recently, DM has turned to the pedagogy of community digital archives, in particular how archives can be spaces to acquire digital literacies, create collaborative knowledge and support the formation of new social relationships. Withers has curated exhibitions and written several articles exploring the theoretical, cultural and historical legacies of women-centred social movements of the 1970s and 1980s. The Feminist Revolution: the Struggle for Women’s Liberation (Smithsonian Books), a co-written, archivalillustrated history of this era, will be published in 2018.